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Early Summer

Before I write my thoughts on this movie let me say this. Sitting home and being able to watch this movie is a more pleasurable experience than sitting in a small wooden chair with the lights off.


This movie  was interesting. I am somewhat familiar with Japanese food and the culture and I was able to understand and picture certain things that they were talking about. I was intrigued by the little boy, he seemed like a kid that would do anything just to get what he wanted. There was a scene when the boy’s grandfather asking him if he loves him. When the boy answered that he loves his grandfather very much he received a cookie. This continued about four to five times. The grandfather had a cheerful expression on his face and as the boy left he said he hated the old man two times. The grandpa laughed and didn’t take it personally. The scene with the handing of the cookies was done in a long take. It brought out the relationship of the young child to his older grandfather as the two faced each other, sitting down on the floor as they do in traditional Japanese customs.   I’m not sure if the movie was fake or not. By fake I mean the way the characters portrayed typical households in Japan at that time. The women seemed to congregate in small groups, talking about getting married, who they will marry and poking fun of the girls who weren’t married yet. Comparing this to certain American movies, or actually commercials we see the trend where there is a typical nuclear family arrangement. The woman stays home and cooks, socializes with other neighbors and so on. Even though nuclear families were thought to be a majority in America around the same time that this movie was filmed, it was not the case. They only made up about 40% of the typical family arrangements. Even though Noriko lived in an extended family there is still the question if this is how everyone lived. The reason I bring this point up is because in this movie I noticed this same trend. I am not fully aware of Japanese culture and I’m questioning if this is how all Japanese families lived at that time.


The story in the film seems simple but it open to a lot of interpretations.  Noriko is in love with her boss but does not want to marry him. The match that the boss has proposed does not work out for Noriko as she does not seem to like that man. She ends up marrying the doctor who gives Noriko’s aunt (or perhaps mother, the movie lost me on the relatives) a heart examination because she was drinking too much. The two move away and eventually come back to Noriko’s parents’ place. The symbolism at the end of the movie is interesting. The parents have moved away to the countryside and see a bridge walking down a road. It makes them think about Noriko and the choices that she had made in her, perhaps that getting married at a later age was a better decision.


The story is interesting and seemingly simple. On the outside it is simply about a Japanese family and a girl who needs to get married because she’s getting to the age where she should acc

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~ by Pawel Forfa on October 21, 2011.

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